Students, trustees, faculty, staff, designers, construction personnel, music and communication aficionados and friends of the College will gather to dedicate the Floyd. A. and Fay W. Falany Performing Arts Center on Feb. 16, 2002. A reception will be held at 8:30 a.m., and the service will begin at 9 a.m.
As a United Methodist institution, Reinhardt College holds a dedication service for each new facility, said JoEllen Wilson, special assistant to the president and director of community relations.
"On Feb. 16, we will gather for an ecumenical service to thank God for the gifts with which we are entrusted," Wilson said. "Reinhardt is so incredibly blessed with talented students, enthusiastic supporters and dedicated faculty and staff, and on this special Saturday, we will join together to celebrates God's influence on what we do and how we do it."
The Falany Performing Arts Center was first announced in 1998 at the completion of the College's $30.5 million capital campaign. An anonymous donor gave the center's naming gift, asking that it be named for then Reinhardt President Floyd A. Falany, and Fay, his wife, a couple who had given 25 years of service to Reinhardt's students, alumni, friends, faculty and staff.
Assisted by two Atlanta families, the McCamishes, who contributed the funds for the Media Arts Center, and the Murrays, who donated funds for the Eulene Holmes Murray Department of Music, faculty, staff and community leaders soon began to envision a building that would meet the needs of a growing college and community and that would bring visitors and attention to Reinhardt.
The resulting $9 million facility took 14 months to build. It outfits the departments of music and communications with eight practice rooms, six classrooms, two large rehearsal spaces, two production studio/control room suites, four dressing areas, a green room, multiple storage areas, 15 offices and a 350-seat auditorium with seven balcony areas. The Murray Department of Music is already in the new facility, and the communications department of the McCamish School of Business and Communication will move to the facility in May 2002.
Reinhardt Interim President Dr. Charles Glassick said the service would be the first of several events marking the official opening of the facility. Another event will be in late April -- the College's traditional 'Celebration Event.' At that time, Glassick, along with the College's trustees, board of advisors, alumni board, and ministerial association officers will introduce a wider circle of the College's donors and friends to the new facility.
"We usually have this annual celebration event at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, but this year, we will bring these friends of the College to our Main Campus to see the Falany Performing Arts Center first-hand," he said. "An ensemble from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform in a fine concert hall that features some of the very best, if not 'the' best, acoustics in the Southeast."
Wilson is also planning additional events to bring the community to the facility. She is scheduling a Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce business after-hours this spring and two high profile concerts later this year.
Reinhardt Music Program Coordinator Judith R. MacMillan has been involved in the building planning since the beginning and describes the building as "a long awaited dream."
"It is a phenomenal facility, and the students are truly taken with it -- they love it," she said. Already the music department is using part of the additional space for individual programs like private lessons. MacMillan predicts that, over time, the first-rate quality of the facility will allow the College to offer additional music programming and develop a concert series with broad appeal.
"People are getting excited about this facility," MacMillan said. "We get calls daily form people who have just found out about it and want to know what events we have coming up."
Glassick said Reinhardt officials will be working with the community to build a quality concert schedule, but he cautions the public to be patient in expecting a full schedule of events.
"We have spent the last few years planning and building this facility," he said. "It will take time for us to grow the staffing and programming budgets needed to fully utilize this new gem. I firmly believe that eventually this facility will become the hallmark of the College because it represents an opportunity to build programs that will be unrivaled at any school our size. Also, the tunable stage, maybe the only one in the Southeast, certainly makes the auditorium the pinnacle of musical performance in this area."
The resource development needed to "seize all the opportunities presented by the building and its contents" will take time, he said. "We will have to reshape our operations and make it the kind of priority it needs to be, and that will take us several years. Right now, the pressure for operating dollars must be for other things. The best thing would be for us to gain endowment for the Centerï¿½s programming; otherwise, we will always be pulling money out of the operating budget."
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